- Reviews: 1130
Absaroka Bay Campground: A Full Hook-up Campground On the Edge of Town
I don’t know why this campground is called Absaroka Bay, (pronounced Absorka), as it is not located on the water, thus not on a bay, however Beck Lake is across the highway. This Good Sam campground is open from May 1 – Sept. 30, and is about 1.5 miles SE of the center of town. If you are not staying in town at the Ponderosa Campground, this campground is the next closest campground to the downtown area. This full hook-up campground looks a lot like a large parking lot. Trees have been planted, but they are very small, and as of yet will offer you no shade. There are 110 sites, and expect to be close to your neighbors. Of course when in Cody, you will want to be spending most of your time exploring what the town has to offer, so this will probably not be a problem for many of you. The sites will accommodate large rigs as well as small, and each site has a picnic table. Restrooms with showers, laundry facilities, video rentals, LP Gas, and ice are available.
All three of my photos will give you an idea of how close together the sites are.
The campground has a Recreation Area, and WiFi Internet. Tour and show tickets may be purchased at the campground.
- Reviews: 1130
Cody KOA: Campground With Electricity and Cabins
The KOA Campground has 50 amp electrical service, grass, picnic tables, free WiFi, and cable TV. Some sites are shaded, but many are not. The sites will accommodate small, as well as large class A motor homes. There is also an open grassy area for tent camping. The KOA also has a few cabins available, with both one and two room models offered. The two room Kamping Kabins (as they like to spell it) sleeps up to 6 people. The one room Kabins sleeps up to 4. You will, however, need your own sleeping bags, or bed linens, towels, and other bath items such as soap, etc. These do not have a private bath, but there is a bathroom with showers located in the campground. The campground also has what they call Kamping Lodges. These have a separate bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, as well as air conditioning and heat. The lodges, however, also do not supply many items that you would need to stay in them. They do not supply bed linens, most cooking equipment, towels, or toiletries. Call the campground to find out what cooking utensils and dishes are available. There is also a Kamping Kottage, which is their largest accommodation. This Kottage (their spelling) has a loft with 2-twin beds, plus will sleep four more on the ground floor. This accommodation has a full kitchen, and a bath with a shower. The kitchen has an oven and gas stove, full-sized refrigerator, and some cooking utensils. There is also air-conditioning and heat in the Kottage. Even in the Kottage, however, you will need your own sleeping bags or bed linens, towels, toiletries, and possible some cooking equipment. Again, be sure to inquire as to what cookware and dishes are supplied with the Kottage.
My third and fourth photos show the area for tents, and my last photo shows an example of the Kabins.
The KOA has a small swimming pool, a small playground, game room, horseshoe pits, and basketball hoops. The staff can also help you to arrange an outing such as a rafting tour, fishing, or an outing to the rodeo. The campground also has special events offered during the summer months, such as bingo (usually on Thursday evenings), homemade ice cream (generally Saturdays), and Friday night campfires with smores. NOTE: These activities and schedules may vary from year to year.
BUT please do not make Cody your home base for Yellowstone, stay here only to visit Cody and it's surrounding area.
- Reviews: 1130
Ponderosa Campground: A Campground in Town, Also with Cabins & Tepees
The Ponderosa Campground is a Good Sam Park, AAA, and is also Woodall approved. It is located west of the main downtown shopping area, and is close enough to the Buffalo Bill Historical center, that if you wish, you can walk to the museum from the campground. It is also about 1/2 mile from the downtown shopping area. Many of the campsites in the front section of this campground have nice shade trees, while the others are open sites. The Ponderosa Campground is the most centrally located campground in the area, so if you would like to do more walking than driving, this is a good choice. There are restrooms with showers, and a sanitary dump station. The park roads are gravel, and well-maintained, and each site has full hook-ups, and picnic tables. A grassy area is available for tent camping. The Ponderosa also has a few heated cabins with porch swings, and six teepees available to sleep in.
Although many of the sites are very close together, if I needed electricity this would be my choice because of the possibility of trees, and the convenient in town location.
The Ponderosa is generally open from April 15 - October 15 or later, depending on weather, and has sites for any size RV.
My third photo is of the sign you should look for when locating the campground. My last photo is of the small playground.
The campground has a large gift shop, free Wi-Fi and cable TV, a convenience store, cappuchino bar, ATM, a small playground for young children, and a laundry area.
- Reviews: 50
Bill Cody Inn: Don't waste your money horseback riding here
To be fair I have no complaints about the cabin or the restaurant, but if you have ever ridden a pony at the carnival you are way too experienced for this trail ride. It was just my friend and I and 2 wranglers. We had to mount the horses from a special platform. That was our first clue that this was not going to be a ride for experienced riders. Those horses could have walked that trail blindfolded. The whole thing was over scripted for our taste.
My advice-skip the horses and walk the trail. The scenery is breathtaking and you will be able to take all the photos you want from as many angles as you want. This was not allowed on the trip.
- Reviews: 1130
Cross Sabres Ranch: Dude Ranch On the Road to Yellowstone
Cross Sabres Ranch is located in the Shoshone National Forest and offers pack trips, fishing, and horseback riding. This ranch is thought to be the oldest guest ranch in the country, having been established in 1898 as a stagecoach stop for people on their way to visit Yellowstone Park. The main lodge standing at the ranch today was built after a fire destroyed the lodge in the winter of 2004. The Wapiti Valley of the Shoshone National Forest, where Cross Sabres is located, is a very scenic area filled with a variety of wildlife. Besides the main activities you may also enjoy volleyball, sing-a-longs, barbeques, a hot tub, and square dancing. Trips to Cody to visit Old Trail Town, the Night Rodeo, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, as well as to Yellowstone Park can also be arranged.
Staying on a ranch would we a great family adventure, that even the children would remember as one of the best. You will find great views, opportunity to see wildlife, and many enjoyable outdoor activities.
- Reviews: 537
The Irma Hotel. Updated...
The Irma Hotel. Updated picture.
Many of the rooms look pretty much the same as when it opened. With a few major updates. Everyone has their own bathroom now! Real electric too. Air conditioning and heat.
- Reviews: 1130
Buffalo Bill State Park: Campground In Scenic Wapit Valley
If we were traveling through Cody with our camper, our choice would be Buffalo Bill State Park. This park sits along the shore of Buffalo Bill Reservoir, which is created by our dam and has a nice view of the water and the mountains. In fact, even though we live in the Cody area, we actually do occasionally drive over and spend a couple of nights at the park, as do other locals. The state park is located about 10 miles west of the center of town on US 14-16-20, which is the highway to Yellowstone. We enjoy the view of the lake, and the campground is quite nice. The campgrounds are usually fully open May 1 - September 30, but you can also stay there in the off season, however water is turned off, and there are limited services.
In the park you will find two campgrounds. The North Shore Bay Campground has 37 sites, and is the closest to town. The first loop within this campground has sites with both water and electricity. These sites may be reserved ahead of time. The other non-electric/water sites, are first come first served sites. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table. Within the campground there are vault toilets, drinking water, and an RV dump. This campground offers an expansive view of the lake.
The North Fork Campground has 62 sites, of which fourteen have electricity and water, and may be reserved. The remainder are first come first serve sites. Within this campground is the Trout Creek group area, which is only available on a reservation basis. This campground is about 14 miles west of Cody. This campground does not give you a close-up lake view, as it is located on the far western side of the reservoir, where the lake narrows down as it joins the North Fork River. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table. Within the campground there are vault toilets and drinking water.
Although I recommend this to you as our first choice, I must warn you, that there are no showers in either campground, and at times it can be very windy, so I would recommend that you do not leave your awnings up if you leave for the day.
To make reservations, for electric/water sites, call 877-996-7275.
The Northshore Bay Campground is located along our reservoir, where you can enjoy a western sunset, or if you have a boat, enjoy an exploration trip on the lake. You may also enjoy a walk along the Eagle Point Trail, which is located in the Eagle Point Day use area. This trail is handicapped accessible. The Trout Creek Nature Trail can be found within the Trout Creek Group area of the North Fork Campground.*
- Reviews: 1130
Visiting a Dude Ranch
There are a number of dude ranches along the highway between Cody and the East Gate of Yellowstone, as well as in other mountain valleys around the Cody Country. For a list of ranches, and links to most of these ranches, visit
Not having actually stayed at any of these, I cannot recommend which ones are the best. However, as an example of what to expect, I will give you a brief description of two well known ranches along the road to Yellowstone, and their web address for further exploration. (one in this entry, and the second in the following entry)
The Absaroka Mountain Lodge, www.absarokamtlodge.com, is located in the Shoshone National Forest near the eastern side of Yellowstone National Park. The valley is a very beautiful one with rugged mountains, pine forest, and mountain streams. Teddy Roosevelt once described this valley as “One of the most scenic in America”. Here you may spot bear, elk, deer, moose, big horn sheep, or even a buffalo, which has wandered out of the park. Horseback riding and fishing are the main activates at this ranch, but hiking wilderness trails or taking excursions into Yellowstone, which is only 15 miles away are also possible. You will also enjoy barbecue cookouts and evening campfires. In the fall you can arrange a hunting package. This ranch is about an hour from Cody.
Address: 1231 North Fork Hwy, Cody WY 82414
Phone: (307) 587-3963
- Reviews: 1130
motels/hotel/B & B
Living in Cody, I have tried to become familiar with some of our accommodations, through asking tourist where they are staying, and how they like the accommodation, as well as visiting newer establishments after they have opened up. Being a tourist town, there are far too many of them form me to evaluate, and it seems like more are built each summer. We have a large variety of motels ranging from small family ones to chains such as Americinn, Best Western, Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Kelly Inn, etc. Some of these are more economical to stay in than other. The best list of places to stay in Cody, can be found at the Chamber of Commerce’s webpage. Here you can click on the type of accommodation you are interested in for a list of places, with their web addresses and maps to show their location. The Commerce does not list any accommodations that are in poor condition or unclean. Click the following link for the Commerce listings: CodyChamberofCommerce.com
The Irma Hotel, the historic hotel built by Buffalo Bill and named for his daughter offers period decorated rooms. This hotel is located at 1192 Sheridan Avenue, phone number 307-587-4221. For more information on the Irma Hotel visit www.irmahotel.com
The Lockhart Inn (listed below) was previously for sale and has been closed for a few years. I have not heard anything about what the new owners intend to do with the business, and the Chamber of Commerce has dropped this accommodation from their listings. I have included it only for its interesting history. I will try to update this tip in the future, when and if the Lockhard Inn reopens.
Interested in ghosts? The Lockhart Inn, is a bed and breakfast located at 109 W. Yellowstone Ave., along the highway that leads out of town toward Yellowstone National Park. As a warning, the Lockhart Inn, once the home of Caroline Lockhart (1870-1962) is reported to be haunted. The proprietress suspects that Caroline and her lover, Vence Spencer, haunt her bed and breakfast. Guests at the inn have reported their toiletries relocate behind their bathroom doors, water being turned on in their room, and towels placed on the toilet seats or sinks during the night. Other events are the sound of swishing petticoats, the sound of clinking glasses in the parlor, noises from the third floor, and the smell of sweet lilacs. Cindy Kramer states that she has seen both Caroline and Vance, he a slender tall man, and she a stocky woman wearing a blue dress, hair up, as well as tiny spectacles. Guests have also reported seeing them when they were the only guests in the inn.
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